Winnipeg Free Press
Front page – January 11, 2007
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership
Founder(s)William Fisher Luxton
PublisherBob Cox
EditorPaul Samyn
FoundedNovember 30, 1872 (1872-11-30)
Headquarters1355 Mountain Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2X 3B6
Circulation101,229 weekdays
132,697 Saturdays (as of 2015)[1]
Sister newspapersBrandon Sun
OCLC number1607085

The Winnipeg Free Press (or WFP; founded as the Manitoba Free Press) is a daily (excluding Sunday) broadsheet newspaper in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It provides coverage of local, provincial, national, and international news, as well as current events in sports, business, and entertainment and various consumer-oriented features, such as homes and automobiles appear on a weekly basis.

The WFP was founded in 1872, only two years after Manitoba had joined Confederation (1870), and predated Winnipeg's own incorporation (1873).[2][3][4] The Winnipeg Free Press has since become the oldest newspaper in Western Canada that is still active.


November 30, 1872: The Manitoba Free Press was launched by William Fisher Luxton and John A. Kenny.[2] Luxton bought a press in New York City and, along with Kenny, rented a shack at 555 Main Street, near the present corner of Main Street and James Avenue.[5]

1874: The paper moved to a new building on Main Street, across from St. Mary Avenue.[5]

1882: Control of the Free Press was passed on to Clifford Sifton.[5] The organization subsequently moved to a building on McDermot Avenue, where it would remain until 1900.[5]

1900: The paper moved to a new address on McDermot Avenue at Albert Street.[5]

1901: John Wesley Dafoe served as president, editor-in-chief, and editorial writer for the WFP until 1944.[5]

1905: The newspaper moved to a four-storey building at Portage and Garry.[5]

Historic Free Press building on Carlton

1913: The newspaper moved to 300 Carlton Street and would remain there for 78 years.[5]

1920: The Free Press took its newsprint supplier before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for violating the War Measures Act during World War I. The newspaper won the case, known as Fort Frances Pulp and Paper v Manitoba Free Press, as the court determined that whether the state of national emergency continued after the war was a political matter for Parliament.[6]

December 2, 1931: The paper was renamed the Winnipeg Free Press.[5]

1991: The Free Press moved to its current location in the Inkster Industrial Park, a CA$150 million plant[2] at 1355 Mountain Avenue.[5]

Former newspaper headquarters on Carlton Street

December 2001: The Free Press and its sister paper, Brandon Sun, were bought from Thomson Newspapers by FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership.[2]


In 2008, at noon on Thanksgiving Day (Monday, October 13), about 1,000 members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, representing editorial, advertising, circulation, and press staff, as well as newspaper carriers, launched a strike action.[7] The strike ended 16 days later, when the union ratified the final offer on Tuesday, October 28.[8] The contract was ratified by 67% of newspaper carriers, 75% of the pressmen, and 91% of the inside workers, including journalists.[9] The recent five-year contract was negotiated, ratified, and signed in 2013, with no threat of a strike. Workers and managers negotiated directly with great success, without the need of a lawyer that previous contracts had required.[10]


As of November 1, 2009, the WFP ceased publishing a regular Sunday edition. In its place, a Sunday-only tabloid called On 7 was launched, but it has since been discontinued.

On March 27, 2011, the impending arrival of Metro in the Winnipeg market caused the Sunday newspaper to be retooled as a broadsheet format, Winnipeg Free Press SundayXtra.[11] The Sunday edition is now available exclusively online.

According to figures via Canadian Newspaper Association, the Free Press' average weekday circulation for 2013 was 108,583, while on Saturdays it was 144,278.[12] Because of the relatively small population of Manitoba, that meant that over 10% of the population could be receiving the paper and its advertisements. Like most Canadian daily newspapers, the Free Press has seen a decline in circulation, dropping its total by 17% to 106,473 copies daily from 2009 to 2015.[13]

Daily average[13]

As of 2023, the Winnipeg Free Press media kit claims that 1.15 million users visit the newspaper's network of sites each month, and that in Winnipeg, 439,000 adults read the publication in print or digital format each week.[14]

Notable staff

See also


  1. ^ "2015 Daily Newspaper Circulation Spreadsheet (Excel)". News Media Canada. Retrieved December 16, 2017. Numbers are based on the total circulation (print plus digital editions).
  2. ^ a b c d "History". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  3. ^ "Manitoba Act 1870". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  4. ^ "1874 Winnipeg's First Council Meeting". City of Winnipeg. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Goldsborough, Gordon (April 11, 2020) [19 November 2011]. "Winnipeg Free Press (Manitoba Free Press)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Fort Frances Pulp and Paper v Manitoba Free Press [1923] UKPC 64, [1923] AC 695, [1923] UKPC 64 (25 July 1923) (on appeal from Ontario)
  7. ^ "Winnipeg Free Press strike continues". CBC News. October 14, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "Free Press strike ends". Winnipeg Free Press. October 29, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Winnipeg Free Press strike ends". CBC News. October 28, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "Free Press workers ratify new contract". Winnipeg Free Press. April 15, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  11. ^ "Sunday Free Press is bigger, better". Winnipeg Free Press. March 26, 2011.
  12. ^ "2013 Daily Newspapers Circulation Report" (PDF). Newspapers Canada. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Daily Newspaper Circulation Data". News Media Canada. Retrieved December 16, 2017. Figures refer to the total circulation (print and digital combined), which includes paid and unpaid copies.
  14. ^ "The Free Press Media Kit – Winnipeg Free Press". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved March 29, 2023.
  15. ^ "Charles Edwards of Broadcast News retires". The Brandon Sun. Brandon, Manitoba. The Canadian Press. August 13, 1971. p. 10.Free access icon
  16. ^ Goldsborough, Gordon (April 27, 2021). "Memorable Manitobans: Vincent 'Vince' Leah (1913–1993)". Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  17. ^ "Vince Leah: Journalist". Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board. 1994. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  18. ^ "Bob Moir: Class of 1985". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. 1985. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  19. ^ Prest, Ashley; Campbell, Tim (January 18, 2012). "A bit of an icon as a sports editor". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. p. 22.Free access icon
  20. ^ "Former FP Sports Editor, Maurice Smith, dead at 75". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. February 21, 1985. p. 51.Free access icon
  21. ^ "Scott Young". The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Further reading